CScope, the school curriculum program maligned by many Texas parents, teachers and conservatives as anti-American and anti-Christian, is clearly in the crosshairs of State Sen. Dan Patrick, who is the new chair of the Senate Education Committee in the legislature.
He arranged a recent hearing with CScope representatives, and has further authorized a review panel, which is nonbinding but includes members of the State Board of Education as well as others. Patrick and Sen. Donna Coleman have also introduced a bill in the Senate to reform CScope.
The Senate bill calls for opening all meetings concerning CScope to the public, turning over lessons for state board review, posting lessons on the CScope website for parents to view, and establishing a permanent oversight board.
The current review committee's work is "to flush out any biases in there," said SBOE member Pat Hardy of Fort Worth, who is on the panel.
Mavis Knight of Dallas, another SBOE member on the committee, said she will go in with an open mind.
"I can'timagine that more than 800 school districts are using something that's not beneficial," she said. "I have to see the context in which the lessons are being presented."
But Jeanine McGregor of Ballinger, a CScope critic who speaks to groups around the state about the curriculum, will be closely monitoring the committee's work.
"If they are only looking to neutralize the sensationalism of it, rather than the legitimacy of the lesson itself," she said, "then they won't fix it."